On the glorification of the PCE

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Steph , modified 10 Years ago at 7/11/12 10:32 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/11/12 10:14 PM

On the glorification of the PCE

Posts: 669 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts


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Reading others' posts, it seems there is still glorification of trying to access PCE after PCE. Sure, PCE's are fun, but the striving and the wanting are making you re-appear time after time (or preventing the experience in the first place). In re-reading alot of the AFT site (won't be quoting here, feel free to look yourself if you wish) it's quite clear to me that instead of being the bench-marker of "progress" or something that must be repeatedly recalled, the PCE should mostly be viewed as a carrot stick to keep one going (as in knowing that it's possible). Once you've accessed it, even if briefly, it's basically like - oh, ok, now I have confirmation of what the actual world is like and this is worthwhile. Remember the woman who was in a 5 month PCE, well that's genuinely fabulous, but she still had some work to do once the PCE ended.

And on the "once you've accessed it" tip, are you *really* sure it was a PCE? What makes you think so? Do you really know what affect at the minutely subtlest level feels like, in order to discern whether zero affect whatsoever was present? Re-examine over and over what purity, benignity, and stillness are. I'm saying this in order to keep the standards pure (pun intended) because nobody ever realized perfection by half-assing it, eh? It's quite possible that in striving for the PCE you're also creating your own version of what you hope a PCE is, instead of knowing what it is in fact. Think of this as if you're putting somebody that you're attracted to up on a pedestal and only seeing the false image of them that you created to meet your desires.

What I've found is more important than trying for PCE after PCE (or worrying about when actuality will fully & permanently appear), is to simply chill out, continue uprooting any misperceptions & issues that lead to emotional states, and go on being happy and harmless. There is no need to thwart happiness by then jumping to thinking that you're happy buuuut you'd rather you could access the PCE instead. Or put another way, if you're feeling felicitous & wonderful that's great - keep it going! If a PCE comes naturally that's cool too, but no sense getting disappointed, even slightly, when it's not apparent. When you get hung up on why you're not accessing PCE's you can also re-check the sense of volition or free will - meaning examine exactly what it is that makes you think you can induce or bring about a PCE. Repeating the advice again so it can sink in - approach it from an angle of seeing just how happy and harmless you can be, how much stuff you can sincerely untangle when you're not feeling happy or are involved in something harmful, keep working on that, and be surprised by what happens.

Go have a great time,
Steph
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 7/12/12 1:14 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/12/12 1:14 PM

RE: On the glorification of the PCE

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Nice advice, m'dear!

...it's quite clear to me that instead of being the bench-marker of "progress" or something that must be repeatedly recalled, the PCE should mostly be viewed as a carrot stick to keep one going (as in knowing that it's possible). Once you've accessed it, even if briefly, it's basically like - oh, ok, now I have confirmation of what the actual world is like and this is worthwhile.

That's a really useful distinction, in my opinion, particularly the line I've italicized since it seems to be more like a continual recognition of what is, rather than something you're striving towards. After that 5-day PCE last year, I ended up causing myself more harm than good by setting it up as something "I" had to "do", when in actuality there's neither "me" nor any "doing" involved!

And on the "once you've accessed it" tip, are you *really* sure it was a PCE?

Yes!! A PCE is just unimaginably perfect and the experiencing of a complete absence of any sense of being is something quite, quite exceptional; this is why I tend to be skeptical of those who say "Oh, I think I might've had a PCE but I'm not sure", as what I've experienced convinced me long ago that this isn't something you can really mistake for anything else.

I'm saying this in order to keep the standards pure (pun intended) because nobody ever realized perfection by half-assing it, eh?

And that essentially sums up what I see as being one of the main strengths of the DhO as a whole: High-standards. Nice.

It's quite possible that in striving for the PCE you're also creating your own version of what you hope a PCE is, instead of knowing what it is in fact. Think of this as if you're putting somebody that you're attracted to up on a pedestal and only seeing the false image of them that you created to meet your desires.

This hits so many nails on the head you could crucify me with it... emoticon

Seriously though, this is a good point made well. A PCE is literally beyond what you can imagine, since anything you can imagine is inherently affective, and so you'll just fuck yourself up by striving for "your" version of something "you" can never experience.

The last paragraph speaks for itself, thanks for posting this as I really do think it's something important to consider, and something very relevant to many of us on here right now.

P.S. Wonka. Wilder. Legend.
Felipe C, modified 10 Years ago at 7/12/12 2:40 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/12/12 2:37 PM

RE: On the glorification of the PCE

Posts: 221 Join Date: 5/29/11 Recent Posts
Hi,

Steph Wonka:

it's quite clear to me that instead of being the bench-marker of "progress" or something that must be repeatedly recalled, the PCE should mostly be viewed as a carrot stick to keep one going (as in knowing that it's possible)


And yet this sounds a little bit paradoxical: how to keep going if one doesn't try to really reach for the carrot? If you are not trying to actively cultivate or remember a PCE, are you really keep going towards the carrot?

Peter says:

As I racked my memory in the weeks after meeting Richard and Devika, this was the pure consciousness experience, the PCE, that stood out – this was how I wanted to experience life permanently, twenty-four hours a day, and this now became my intention. To replicate that ‘self’-less experience, as this mortal flesh and blood body, permanently, effortlessly, without drugs, became my intent in life and, very soon, my total obsession


And Richard says:

RICHARD: Aye ... this commitment is of no use if it is confused with a resolve or a vow (a resolve or a vow can be broken). Commitment comes through curiosity. Only when one becomes curious about the workings of oneself – what makes one tick – is that person on the way to becoming committed to their search for freedom for the first time in their life. Then curiosity becomes fascination ... and then the fun begins. One is drawn inexorably further and further towards one’s destiny ... fascination leads to what others around one would classify as ‘obsession’. A 100% commitment to evoking peace-on-earth is thus actively discouraged by one’s peers. Eventually one realises that one is on one’s own in this, the adventure of a life-time ... then one takes the penultimate step ... one abandons ‘humanity’.

And:

It is the quality of pure intent is what pulls one forward with impunity ... pure intent transforms into action one’s determination to live a life full of gladness, peace and harmony with oneself, with a person of the other gender, and with all peoples. Pure intent produces total dedication – it is experienced as an irresistible enticement – and it makes it impossible not to do what is required (or to sweep an issue under the carpet and to let sleeping dogs lie) and to continue to conform to the long-failed dictates of the status-quo. [...] Pure intent is a manifest life-force; a genuinely occurring stream of benevolence and benignity that originates in the perfect and vast stillness that is the essential character of the infinitude of the universe. Freed by pure intent from the very necessary social constraints – designed to control a wayward ego and a compliant soul – one can have generosity of character without striving. Pure intent guides one in each and every situation and circumstance – it is an essential prerequisite to ensure a guaranteed passage through the psychic maze – until the primacy of ‘me’ as a psychological or psychic entity withers away.
With pure intent one will not rest until one has gone all the way.


In this endeavor, there is an affective desire (being) combined with pure intent (a force from the universe, that the universe itself calls). How to proceed? Apparently, working within one's territory obsessively (investigating feelings, cultivating happiness, harmlessness, naiveté) in order to uncover the universe's territory (PCE, AF): one needs to get closer affectively; but, also, actively try to sense that pure intent.

Let's say your default mode is "you" and the universe's default mode is physical, only experienced via PCE. In "you", the first mode blocks the experiencing of the last, but after all, you are also part of the universe, you're potentially part of its default mode. If this is true, then how one reaches what is already here anyways?

Perhaps a better metaphor than the carrot stick is finding yourself behind a curtain; that curtain is "you" and it's blocking the super-fun show that is already happening; "you" are blind to it. One needs to examine the curtain, see how its fibers are interwoven, remove its layers making it as translucent as possible, but also one needs to remember (or let the gravity of it get into you) how perfect was that occasion when part of that show was clearly revealed and to try to recreate the sensuous aspect of such experience.

I don't know if that was clear or different at all, but oh well emoticon
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Steph , modified 10 Years ago at 7/12/12 5:37 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/12/12 5:29 PM

RE: On the glorification of the PCE

Posts: 669 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
Nice advice, m'dear!


Glad to help!


That's a really useful distinction, in my opinion, particularly the line I've italicized since it seems to be more like a continual recognition of what is, rather than something you're striving towards. After that 5-day PCE last year, I ended up causing myself more harm than good by setting it up as something "I" had to "do", when in actuality there's neither "me" nor any "doing" involved!


A continual recognition.. hmm, good one. That probably better clarifies what I meant with the carrot stick comment (and since this is where Felipe might be misunderstanding what I was trying to get at... I'll get into that more when I reply again).

Yes!! A PCE is just unimaginably perfect and the experiencing of a complete absence of any sense of being is something quite, quite exceptional; this is why I tend to be skeptical of those who say "Oh, I think I might've had a PCE but I'm not sure", as what I've experienced convinced me long ago that this isn't something you can really mistake for anything else.


Can you describe in more detail what you mean by "isn't something you can really mistake for anything else"? Cuz to add on to that, paraphrasing something that Trent said to me... even if the experience is the best experience you've ever had or unlike anything you've ever experienced before in contrast to your normal life, that still doesn't mean it's a PCE. The PCE is unequivocally it's own thing, occurring only now, and words of contrast or variation between extremes, or levels are accurate. Words like PCE'ish or PCE-like are all not it. I remember Nick bringing something similar up a while back too. Where he is? Thoughts please, Nick (and/or Trent too).

And that essentially sums up what I see as being one of the main strengths of the DhO as a whole: High-standards. Nice.


Well, I was getting rather tired of all the theory/politico posts, which is why I've been keeping a low profile here for a bit.

This hits so many nails on the head you could crucify me with it... emoticon
Seriously though, this is a good point made well. A PCE is literally beyond what you can imagine, since anything you can imagine is inherently affective, and so you'll just fuck yourself up by striving for "your" version of something "you" can never experience.


Jesus, is that you? lullllz. Hmm, maybe this is why the advice to recall PCE's by remembering them is so hard for some people. And this is why we often describe PCE's in subtractive terms, like the things that *aren't* present... the symbolic language to describe it isn't even really a part of it either (saying that cuz I know you'll get it considering how big you are on all that symbology/metaphor stuff).
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Steph , modified 10 Years ago at 7/12/12 6:02 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/12/12 5:52 PM

RE: On the glorification of the PCE

Posts: 669 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
Hey Felipe

And yet this sounds a little bit paradoxical: how to keep going if one doesn't try to really reach for the carrot? If you are not trying to actively cultivate or remember a PCE, are you really keep going towards the carrot?


I think that you might be misunderstanding what I meant here. Taking what Tommy clarified above when he wrote "it seems to be more like a continual recognition of what is, rather than something you're striving towards"... What I'm ultimately trying to break down here is the sense of volition, or sense that "you" can make PCE's happen. If you read Peter & Richard's quotes again, notice that they use words like effortlessly, curiosity, etc. - these are things that occur as a natural course of action. It's basically the universe itself being drawn in on itself, perpetuating the moth to the flame that continues one along (Richard has used the moth to the light metaphor before, which is why I use it here). It is not "you" that is driving towards the PCE or AF, the pure benignity of the universe is what's driving it. This purity is unmistakable and immediate/direct, and so once that becomes apparent, there's ultimately no turning back. It doesn't matter how long it takes to get AF - you have no say in the matter. And so any striving approach is fruitless. You honestly have no way of predicting of when it will occur, just as you have no idea what might be left to uncover/work out. I have found time and time again that I thought I was close, only to find I was wrong, and so I say that from direct experience.

Perhaps a better metaphor than the carrot stick is finding yourself behind a curtain; that curtain is "you" and it's blocking the super-fun show that is already happening; "you" are blind to it. One needs to examine the curtain, see how its fibers are interwoven, remove its layers making it as translucent as possible


This is a nice one. I have noticed before that the identity seems like a veil over actuality - and have used that description alot with how I used to feel with certain people. It seemed like there was a thin veil separating us. And yes, the identity exploration stuff is like untangling a bunch of fibers.

I hope this helps, and let me know if you need further clarification. Happy to talk about this.
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Coyote, modified 10 Years ago at 7/14/12 9:34 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/14/12 9:34 AM

RE: On the glorification of the PCE

Posts: 9 Join Date: 3/22/12 Recent Posts
Please excuse my ignorance--I have not read up on the specifics of AF and will try to avoid butchering the terminology by using my own. My understanding of "PCE" is general, but I group all extraordinary experiences far over on the pleasant side of the spectrum under the heading of "unicorns and rainbows" and everything at the opposite extreme under "howling fantods." But I'm a lumper, not a splitter.

Anyway, I think you make a great point about the futility of grasping at these experiences. Why chase unicorns and rainbows, even if they are glorious? Better not to even use them as a carrot, but treat it more like gravy, lagniappe.

Personally, I've always gotten more out of trying to embrace the howling fantods when they show up. It's kind of like learning to love spicy foods. The more you consume, the higher your tolerance for the pain involved and the wider selection of dishes you can sample and appreciate without aversion.

Sorry if I've misunderstood and this comment is irrelevant.
Adam , modified 10 Years ago at 7/14/12 12:50 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/14/12 12:50 PM

RE: On the glorification of the PCE

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
I don't think pce falls under unicorns or howling beasts, it is purity of mind, beyond these opposites. It is possible to try and just appreciate the unicorns and beasts, but doing so is not a true happiness. Simply appreciating these opposites is really just a way to get stuck. If I had a spectrum then the pleasant and painful experiences would be on one side and the harmonious non-desiring, pure, selfless states would be on the other side.

Both of those identity-based mindstates aren't truly pleasant, just easily attached to. This point isn't easily believed until one experiences the release beyond them. For this reason it is probably better to think of the pce as a way of experiencing rather than an experience. It is experiencing without a sense of self and without desire.
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Steph , modified 10 Years ago at 7/25/12 2:04 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/25/12 1:59 AM

RE: On the glorification of the PCE

Posts: 669 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
Rainbows, unicorns, Wonka, and crucifixion. This is shaping up to be a marvelous fairy tale of a thread. emoticon

I don't think pce falls under unicorns or howling beasts, it is purity of mind, beyond these opposites. It is possible to try and just appreciate the unicorns and beasts, but doing so is not a true happiness. Simply appreciating these opposites is really just a way to get stuck. If I had a spectrum then the pleasant and painful experiences would be on one side and the harmonious non-desiring, pure, selfless states would be on the other side.


Viewing them as opposites on a spectrum could also be a way to get stuck. Mostly because the qualification of anything as pleasant, unpleasant, pure, selfless, etc. is a conceptual thing rather than an actual thing. At what point does the categorization game stop, if ever? An entirely different layer of "me" gets tacked on then - it's just another chain reaction to the new set of categories. Experiential is key, definitive is not.